Half of missing ‘are men aged 16-30’

  • disappeared during war
- DEWAN RAI, Kathmandu

Aug 29, 2016-

Of the nearly 3,000 people disappeared during the decade-long insurgency, half of them “appear to be men between the age of 16 and 30”, according to the figures released by the Commissions of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP). 

The commission made public age and gender breakdown of the complaints it received in the past four months. Of the 2,864 complaints, disappeared women account for less than eight percent at 224. The number of disappeared men stands at 2,640, according to the figures that were made public on the eve of International Day of the Disappeared. 

The number of complaints received by the commission is significantly higher than the record maintained by the Ministry of Peace. The Rehabilitation and Reparation Unit of the ministry has documented 1,530 persons as disappeared during the insurgency. 

The number of complaints received by the CIEDP is also double than what has been documented by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS). An annual report of the ICRC and the NRCS, to be released on Monday, has updated the figure of missing persons at 1,334—down from 1,401 last year. 

The number of persons disappeared has come down after relatives of some of them withdraw their cases, while some came into contact and returned home later. 

Hundreds others have been waiting for answers from the government as to what happened to their loved one. It has been a decade since signing of the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Process, which envisaged making public the missing persons within six months. 

It took almost nine years for the transitional justice bodies to come into being and they have just started screening the complaints they have received. 

CIEDP Secretary Mahesh Sharma Poudel said that the commission has completed first screening of all the complaints. 

Despite the progress made in investigating process, there are doubts that there will be investigation into all cases. 

The under-staffed CIEDP, which has been working on a shoestring budget, has around six months to complete its task. And most importantly, the government is yet to criminalise the act of disappearance, which will render recommendations made by the commission meaningless. 

In numbers

  • 2,864: Complaints about people disappeared during insurgency received by the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappearance
  •  2,640: Men disappeared  
  •  224: Women disappeared
  •  16-30: Age group of men who were disappeared during the insurgency
  •  1,530: Disappeared cases according to Peace Ministry records
  •   1,334: Persons who went missing during insurgency according to the ICRC

Published: 29-08-2016 15:20

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